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In Windows XP Pro (SP2), there seems to be no way to have shortcuts automatically updated so they can stay connected to their target files or folders after the latter have been moved or renamed.

I'm looking for more efficient ways of reconnecting broken shortcuts with their moved or renamed targets than manually deleting them and re-creating new ones -- this can be quite a chore if you reorganize your files and folders often, resulting in a lot of shortcuts to fix.

Are there any PC programs that can monitor shortcuts on Windows XP and automatically fix them when their target files or folders get moved or renamed?

Any suggestions on this issue will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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On NTFS drives you can use fsutil hardlink create. Hardlinks behave somewhat differently from shortcuts, but they are generally more useful (basically, your file will exist at two different places, changing one will change the other, but deleting one will not delete the other).

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Some programs write to files relative to the working directory, which will be different depending on which hardlink you launch from. That might cause problems. – Stephen Jennings Apr 25 '10 at 20:36
to add to @Stephen's comment, Windows-style launcher shortcuts can accept commandline options, compatibility settings, and other properties which hardlinks don't provide. they do solve the problem of auto-updating the link's target, but this might not be enough. – quack quixote Apr 25 '10 at 22:20

distributed link tracking a built in service was designed to manage this, never tried it though.

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Here is an excerpt from this post:

If you move the shortcut and program folder to another location before you start it via a shortcut in the original location, Windows will not be able to find it. Only if you start it via a shortcut in the initial location, and start it again after renaming the folder, Windows will be able to find it and, in certain way, "dynamically" allocate program inside the shortcut and find it later regardless of the new location and new drive.

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It helps if you quote at least some of the relevant part of the post. a) it means the information is available directly, b) we can decide whether is worth reading further and c) it's an insurance against link rot. – ChrisF Apr 25 '10 at 20:13

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